Father, son plead guilty in drug trafficking conspiracy
A father and son have pleaded guilty in a drug trafficking case that spans from Ketchikan to Washington.
On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess sentenced 29-year-old Layten Banchero, of Seattle, to 10 years in prison with five years of supervised release. Banchero pleaded guilty in April to drug trafficking conspiracy, possessing a firearm in connection to drug-related activity and possessing a firearm as a felon, according to a statement from the U.S. District Attorney’s office in Anchorage.
Another drug-related investigation led Ketchikan police to Banchero in his hotel room on June 13, 2014, according to the DA. A search warrant was granted for the room and police found 83.71 grams of “actual” methamphetamine, 30.1 grams of heroin, drug ledgers, a “large amount” of U.S. currency and a loaded pistol.
Police also discovered a local storage locker was being used by Banchero. A warranted search of the locker revealed more firearms and $24,000 in U.S. currency.
Authorities arrested Banchero’s father, 51-year-old Scott Banchero, when he attempted to retrieve the cash from the locker, according to Assistant DA Jack Schmidt.
The two men were listed as co-conspirators in a drug trafficking scheme across state lines, Schmidt explained in a sentencing memorandum. The younger Banchero was responsible for obtaining the drugs from co-conspirators in the Washington area and have them transported to Ketchikan. Court documents show his father financed the purchase of at least some of the drugs.
Schmidt recommended a heavier sentence for Banchero due to his repeated offenses — he was previously convicted on multiple theft and drug charges — and his addiction to not only drugs, but the money involved in trafficking them.
“Banchero, unlike many other addicts, appears more lured to the quick and easy money rather than the need to supply his habit,” Schmidt wrote. “This is evident in his meticulous record keeping, possession of weapons and ability to keep a large amount of money on his person, as well as in a separate secured location.”
Banchero also reportedly videotaped himself with drugs, firearms and money.
The elder Banchero pleaded guilty to a single count of drug trafficking conspiracy in April and is scheduled to be sentenced in December, Schmidt said.
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